Bunion Treatment – Adelaide, SA

What is a bunion?

A bunion (hallux valgus) is a bone deformity that results when the big toe moves out of place, causing enlargement of the metatarsophalangeal joint at its base. The enlarged joint pushes the toe down against the shoe wall, building considerable friction and pressure. If this happens at the bottom of the little toe, it’s called a “bunionette” or “tailor’s bunion.”

Bunion Treatment in Adelaide

Painful bunions often form after stress to the joint over a prolonged period. Tight, pointed, and confining shoes cause them to be seen more in women than men. Bunions may be inherited as a family trait or result from arthritis. Different forms of arthritis often affect the big toe joint.

Dr. Hawra Alzamely, BPod, is an experienced podiatrist that provides treatment of foot and ankle problems, including bunions.

Hawra approaches bunion treatment with a two-step patient care plan. First, she seeks to relieve bunion pain symptoms and callus formation caused by friction. Then, she works to stop further development of the problem.

Prescribed treatment may include:

  • A protective felt padding to shield inflamed skin from the shoe wall
  • Removal of nearby corns and calluses
  • Fitted footwear
  • Orthotic inserts
  • Nighttime splints
Adelaide Foot Doctor | Excellence in the Treatment of the Foot & Ankle | Adelaide, SA

Bunion Treatment FAQ

Frequently asked questions and answers about all things bunion treatment.

Bunions on the big toe are the most common. Other types include:

  • Congenital hallux valgus: Some babies are born with bunions.
  • Juvenile or adolescent hallux valgus: Children and teens between the ages of 10 and 15 may develop bunions.
  • Tailor’s bunion: a bunion that forms on the outside base of the little (pinky) toe and is also called a bunionette

A bunion looks like a swollen, red vegetable. In fact, the French word for bunion ‘oignons’ also means onion. Other symptoms include:

  • Not able to bend the big toe, or pain and burning when moving it
  • Rubbing against shoes
  • Calluses (patches of thick, dry skin)
  • Hammertoes (painful, malaligned toes)
  • Numb big toe

A registered podiatrist, Dr. Hawra Alzamely, BPod, is known for her foot and ankle treatment skill and experience. Over the years, she’s mastered the nuances of treating bunions so that she consistently produces excellent results. Her patients appreciate her kind manner, attention to detail, and rave about their care.

Our podiatrist works hard to make sure that patients are comfortable in the office and are fully confident in their choices. She is a member of the Australian Podiatry Association, and Sports + Exercise Podiatry Australia.

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The big toe bends in toward the second toe as a result of pressure from the way you walk (foot mechanics) or the form of your foot (foot structure). Bunion pain develops gradually over time. Wearing poorly fitting, narrow shoes for lengthy periods of time can make bunion discomfort worse, but they do not cause it.

Bunions are more common among women and in families with a history of bunions on either side of the family. They also often appear after pregnancy when hormonal changes cause the ligaments to loosen up.

If you have any of the following traits, you’re more likely to get a bunion:

  • Family history of bunions due to inherited foot structure problems
  • Osteoarthritis This condition may cause changes to your foot structure, which can lead to a bunion.
  • A leg-length inequality (meaning there’s a difference in the length of your legs) and/or an uneven gait (when you walk).
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone that loosens joints. This can lead to increased laxity around your big toe joint and may cause or worsen a bunion.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or any other autoimmune disorders. These conditions can attack the joints in your body, including those in your toes and feet.
  • Overweight Extra pressure on the joints of your foot may cause a bunion to form.
  • Previous injury that causes an altered walking pattern (for instance, favoring one leg) can increase stress on your feet, which may lead to the development of a bunion

A bunion is generally identified through visible inspection by a podiatrist, as many of the symptoms are readily apparent. When your podiatrist examines you, he or she may move your toe from side to side or up and down to check for restricted mobility. To further evaluate the joint or bunion deformity, he or she will order an X-ray.

The podiatrist may also take a look at and identify any existing and chronic conditions you have. Some patients who suffer from arthritis or other bone disorders may have visible bone spurs or joint damage that can result in bunions.

How are bunions treated?

Bunions do not improve spontaneously and may worsen over time if untreated. There are two main forms of treatment: Conservative & Surgical.

Conservative treatment options vary depending on the severity of your bunion and how much pain it causes. Nonsurgical treatments that may relieve the pain and pressure of a bunion include:

  • Orthotics — custom-made insoles that fit into your shoes and try to help improve the functioning of the foot and big toe joint
  • Changing shoes – Wear roomy, comfortable shoes that provide plenty of space for your toes.
  • Padding – Over-the-counter, nonmedicated bunion pads or spacers may be helpful. They can act as a buffer between your foot and your shoe and ease your pain.
  • Medications – Paracetamol or ibuprofen can help you control the pain.
  • Wearing a splint – Your doctor may prescribe a splint that you wear at night to keep your big toe from pointing down and relieve some of the pressure on the joint.
  • Surgical treatment may be needed to reconstruct and restore alignment and function to the toe may be necessary.

Before treating your bunion, you should have an examination by a podiatrist to gain a better understanding of the condition.

Dr. Alzamely Will Help Get You Back On Your Feet

By seeking treatment, our patients are able to return to their daily activities, pursuits, and life better than ever and free from foot and ankle pain.

Her combination of clinical skills and caring demeanor with her patients makes Dr. Hawra Alzamely, BPod, one of the most sought-after podiatrists in Adelaide.

If you’re ready to stop living with pain and live your best life, schedule a consultation today.


Podiatrist Hawra Alzamely provides a wide range of treatment options. If you’re ready to address your foot and ankle concerns, book an appointment online today.